Sorcha, the "Daughter of the Forest," married her beloved British husband Hugh of Harrowfield, who gave up his ancestral home to move to Erin and live with his wife at Sevenwaters. Together they became stewards of the enormous estate which, with its magical forest and strong ties to the old, druidic faith, prosper under their care. They have been blessed with three children: Niamh, who is as beautiful as she is willful; Sean, strong and capable like his father; and Sean's twin, Liadan, who, like her mother, is a gifted healer and seer.
Liadan's birth was not foreseen by the fairy folk, the Tuatha de Danaan, who so frequently intervene in the lives of this family. It is they who are determined to preserve the old ways through those of the Sevenwaters line. Neither Liadan's mother nor the magical beings who populate the age-old forests of Sevenwaters had counted on Sean, (whose birth was predicted as part of a prophecy), having a twin sister. This lack of foresight gave Liadan the power to change things previously ordained - to defy prophesy. But Liadan does not want power nor does she want a position of leadership in the clan. She is shy, and prefers the art and lore of healing to the more common pleasures of girls her age. Yet, it is Liadan who is finds herself thrust into the midst of the enemy, and taken away from the family that has loved and sheltered her. She is carried off to heal a dying outlaw, a mercenary in the band of the notorious and feared "Painted Man."
This is a beautiful tale of familial devotion, self-sacrifice, steadfastness, adventure, travel - and above all, of love that must be strong enough to defy all odds - with a hero who is worthy of the exceptional young woman Liadan is. Although the plot and subplots are very strong this novel is definitely character driven. And, as noted before, Ms. Marillier develops her cast of characters and gives them great depth. As with all fairy tales, there is magic at work here, just the right amount to awe but not to disturb reality too much or take away from the characters' independence and ability to choose.
Although "Son of the Shadows" can be read and enjoyed without reading the first book, I strongly recommend reading "Daughter Of The Forest" before picking-up this terrific novel. ENJOY!
Liadan's story is great, but it still doesn't match up to her mother's tale. Also, some of the passages are quite boring; there are a couple of really despisable characters.
All in all, the storyline was good. If you liked Daughter of the Forest, you should continue with this one.